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Oh, cut-offs! How I love you!

Sometimes when pants start to wear out, especially in the knee area, I like to make skirts (I make plain ones and I recently made a ruffle version). Cute though they are, skirts are definitely not the fastest way to reuse hole-y pants. No, if speed is the name of the game, cut-offs totally rock.

Lisey got a pair of Gap pink long pants for Christmas from her grandmother several years back and this winter, she wore a long, skinny, horizontal hole across the knee.

I really hate doing knee patches on children’s pants, so I opted just to cut the legs off. And because I was feeling particularly lazy, I decided not to even bother with a hem and I left a raw edge instead.

These pants were made of multiple panels, though, so if I did nothing, they’d start to come apart after a few washings. So, I just sewed a straight stitch all the way around each leg opening, leaving sufficient room for fraying.

I just cut these off recently, so the fraying is still a work in progress (it gets better with each wash!). And as you can see, there are some threads I need to snip.

I’m really glad to have breathed a little more life into these pants! I left them fairly long, so between the length and the fact that the waist is nowhere near too tight (it’s one of the adjustable kind), I think these shorts may carry her through another few summers before she hands them down to her sisters.

The skirts I make from pants make use of the pant legs, but cut-offs really don’t. Worry not, though…I didn’t throw them away! But, what I did with them is a whole ‘nother post, and that’s coming on Tuesday. 😉

Lisey’s cut-offs are so cute on her, I’m seriously eyeing some pants in my closet and thinking that I might try this for myself too (I’ve got a pair that are a little too short and have a paint stain on the leg). I’ll update you if I give it a try!

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Saturday 7th of August 2010

Having boys means having a lot of cut-offs. A few years back I decided to make napkins from the parts of the pants that were cut-off. Sometimes I actually sewed around the edge (flip so right sides are together, etc), other times I've just left the fraying part as part of the napkin. Although I wouldn't use these types of clothe napkins for company, they work fine for us.


Saturday 7th of August 2010

Wow, what a great idea. I really like the straight stitches to keep the fraying just at the bottoms. Thank you!


Friday 6th of August 2010

I have done that before too! Only, I didn't couldn't get the 2 sides to match, and I ended up with a pair of cut off shorts instead of pair of capries (that I originally wanted it to be)


Friday 6th of August 2010

Can't wait to see what you do with the bottom of the pants. I use my daughters to make American Girl pants or shorts using a 1 piece pattern. (There is no side seam so the front and the back can be cut as one piece.) The hemming is already done if I line up the piece along the bottom of the cut-off pant leg and centering on a the side seam makes it look a lot more store bought. That just leaves 15 minutes of sewing to stitch together the leg seam, crotch seam and waistband casing. My three girls love having matching clothes with their AG dolls and I can happily provide them without spending a fortune.


Friday 6th of August 2010

I have a pair for myself that I cut off. Chris calls me Huck Finn when I wear them. :-)

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